Gary Waters

Cleveland State head coach Gary Waters receives new seven-year contract

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From 1980 to 2006 the Cleveland State basketball program tallied just five 20-win seasons, with four of those being posted by Kevin Mackey from 1984-88 (and a Sweet 16 appearance in 1986).

In six seasons at Cleveland State Gary Waters has led the Vikings to 21 wins or more four times, and with that in mind the school has given Waters a new seven-year contract through the 2018-19 season.

Cleveland State has made four postseason appearances (one NCAA, three NIT) during Waters’ tenure, and considering the fact that their last postseason trip came all the way back in 1988 the school thought it important to lock up their head coach.

“Coach Waters is a highly respected leader whose teams excel on and off the basketball court,” said President Ronald M. Berkman on Thursday. “Coach Waters fully expects his students-athletes to give nothing less in the classroom then they give on the basketball court.

“We are grateful that Coach Waters has made the commitment to realize his goal of building a storied basketball program at CSU.”

Cleveland State enters the 2012-13 season having to account for the loss of four starters from last season’s 22-win squad, and the Vikings are expected to start four sophomores alongside senior forward Tim Kamczyc (9.1 ppg, 3.9 rpg).

One of those sophomores is 6-8 forward Anton Grady, who has been pegged as a breakout candidate this season by multiple outlets. And given Waters’ statement following Grady’s ten-point, 13-rebound performance in a win over Green Bay in January, it’s reasonable to expect Grady to lead the way for the Vikings.

“I was going to keep him in the game,” Waters said on that day. “He’s going to be our future.”

While Grady will be the one to lead Cleveland State between the lines, the administration sees a bring future with Waters leading the way.

Picked in the Horizon League preseason poll to finish 5th this season, Cleveland State opens the regular season tonight against Grambling.

Raphielle also writes for the NBE Basketball Report and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej. 

Big South moving 2016 conference tournament

Cliff Ellis
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The Big South is moving its 2016 men’s basketball tournament out of Coastal Carolina and a new site will be figured out by November. According to a release from the conference the Big South is using a league bylaw that stipulates that members leaving with less than two years of notice are not eligible to host championships. Coastal Carolina announced this summer that it would be leaving for the Sun Belt as of July 2016, so the Big South wants to find a new location that benefits teams staying in the league.

The Big South men’s and women’s conference tournaments are now also going to be split into two unique events, with the men’s championships being held Thursday-Sunday, March 3-6. The women’s event comes the next week from March 10-13. Bids for both events will come into the league and a new location will be selected in the next few months.

It will be interesting to see if the site of the conference tournament is moved to a campus site or placed at a neutral venue. That type of thing could alter how the NCAA tournament autobid gets played out. With Coastal Carolina coming off of back-to-back NCAA tournament appearances, this obviously changes their approach to the postseason now that they have to leave their city.

Virginia Tech could redshirt sophomore guard

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Virginia Tech is trying to decide what to do with injury sophomore guard Ahmed Hill, who had surgery this summer to deal with a tear in his patella tendon in his left knee.

The 6-foot-5 Hill has still not been released to work out with the team, but he is about a week to 10 days ahead of schedule in his rehab. But the injury is still nagging enough that Hill might not be healthy enough to really contritbute this season. Head coach Buzz Williams is deciding soon whether he wants to redshirt Hill or not.

Hill started a team-high 30 games for the Hokies last season, averaging 8.7 points and 3.7 rebounds per game.

“I don’t have a decision on (Hill),” Williams said to reporters on Monday. “I will make the final decision. I’ll let (him) and his mom be a part of it, but I want to make a decision using the wisdom of doing this for a long period of time. If you let a kid make the decision, they always want to play.

“Right now, I don’t feel comfortable that I would want to play him. It’s just too early to be able to have much more of an answer than that.”

It’s still a rebuilding year for Virginia Tech, but they do get Maryland transfer Seth Allen, who is a talented guard who can score. The Hokies were hoping to have Hill and Allen as complimentary perimeter scorers, but now the plans might have to be altered. Williams went on to say that he would like to make a decision on Hill’s status by Halloween.